Show Review: Cut Copy @ Stubb’s (4/22)

Things are warming up in Austin. The music schedule is nuts. Just saw Foals, about to see Arcade Fire, Tony Bennett, Fleet Foxes, Echo and the Bunnymen, Beirut and more. Bad news for them, Cut Copy may have stolen their thunder. The Aussies set the bar very high, and we’ll all win if there is a better show this year. Holy Ghost! opened, more after the jump…

Holy Ghost! is two DJ/producer types from New York that are touring with a full complement of musicians on stage. Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser brought friends along to have extra keys, percussion and backing vocals to pull off the studio sound. They did it well, to be honest, playing tracks from the album/compilation HOLY GHOST!. The duo have experience as an opener for a big electro bands, their last trip to town as early billing was with LCD Soundsystem, IIRC. Already, this crowd was setting itself apart from the previous night’s audience at Stubb’s. “Wait and See” had unprompted, continued singing of the vocal hook as the band led into an excellent performance of “Hold On”. Alex proclaims this crowd was way cooler.

Two night stands always bring about a bit of posturing as to which crowd was better. I wasn’t at the previous show, but keep in mind these were the fans that bought tickets early on, not just the casual, “Oh they added a second show, I guess we’ll go” types. Add to that, Fridays allow the gravel pit an extra hour before noise curfew, so this show started later than Thursday’s though doors were still at 7pm. This crowd was ready to explode, my wife and friends included.

A short break and the lights drop for Cut Copy. The big door on stage opens and the band walks through. A couple of waves and off to work they go. In Ghost Colours dominated early track choices. “Visions” segued into “Nobody Lost/Nobody Found.” They were more comfortable and confident on stage. The previous tour’s show was a bit more subdued; lighting, stage presence, energy all elevated this time around. “So Haunted” was completely nuts; Tim Hoey’s flailing of guitars, I even caught Dan Whitford airborne. This was a different band than two years ago. Even though it was the most fun I have ever had in the photo pit at Stubb’s, I was anxious to get back to the crowd to take the rest in with my people.

Apparently, the previous night had “Where I’m Going” in this slot, but “Corner of the Sky” was the first of the new comers. “Lights and Music” sent the crowd into fits. By this point in the show, the door on stage had rotated, revealing an LED panel casting images, the frame of the door lit in colors to compliment. “Take Me Over” followed and kept the dance party at fever pitch. Audience members sang every word to old and new songs alike. The pseudo-unreleased early track “Sand of Times”, a new one “Pharaohs and Pyramids” and another oldie, “Saturdays”, meandered to “Hearts on Fire” which ended the high energy portion of the main set. “Sun God”, an album only track on Zonoscope, eased the crowd into the intermission.

The encore started with the song everyone wanted. “Need You Now” was big and epic. There was much rejoicing; hands raised mimicking Dan when singing along. “Out There on the Ice” was to have been the final track, but the crowd would not let go. Following their departure from the stage, I looked over to the sound and light crew listening intently to their headsets. The band came back out, announced this was the best crowd of the tour and treated the faithful to “Feel the Love.”

Bar is set. If this doesn’t end up my top show of the year, it certainly will get honorable mention for best crowd.

More pics availble here

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